List of recommendations

List of recommendations

1.67The Committee recommends the Government consider asking the Committee to inquire into increasing the size of the House of Representatives to reduce malapportionment and improve the ratio of electors to MPs.

1.105The Committee recommends that the representation of the territories in the Senate be increased from two to four Senators each.

2.179The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 is amended to permit on-the-day enrolment for federal elections and referendums.

2.187The Committee recommends the Australian Electoral Commission continue to develop close relationships with relevant community organisations in addressing barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander electoral participation, particularly in remote areas, with a focus on the following initiatives:

locally-engaged workforces

community-staffed voting centres

voter education programs

appropriate communication.

4.193The Committee recommends the repeal of subsections 93(8)(a) and 118(4) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

4.197The Committee recommends that the AEC co-design independent, secure and accessible voting options with disability advocacy organisations and people within the disability community.

4.202The Committee recommends that the AEC:

expand the accessibility standards for both pre-poll and polling centres

standardise its voting material in accessible formats

ensure staff in polling centres are appropriately trained in options for assisting people with disability to vote.

4.206The Committee recommends that the Government expand Part XVB of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to enable more people to vote via telephone, including:

people with disability (beyond the Electoral Act’s existing provision for blind and low-vision voters)

Australians overseas but otherwise eligible to vote

people in remote communities without access to a remote polling station.

4.208The Committee recommends the AEC continue to run its mobile polling program for older Australians living in aged care.

4.213The Committee recommends that the administrative burden of voting overseas is reduced.

4.217The Committee recommends that the Australian Government continue to support people who wish to become Australian citizens and take up their associated voting franchise to do so.

4.222The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider ways to strengthen civics education programs in Australian schools to better equip and prepare the next generation of voters to cast their first vote.

5.58The Committee recommends that charities registered under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission be exempt from the donation caps recommended in the Committee’s interim report into the 2022 federal election, but that these caps be applied to political parties and candidates, along with associated entities, other third parties and significant third parties.

5.59The Committee recommends that the Australian Government amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to provide clarity around the following terms:

‘electoral matter’, which relates to material specifically supporting or opposing one or more parties or candidates in a federal election, and which carries the appropriate authorisation;

‘electoral expenditure’, to ensure that only expenditure for authorised electoral matter, funded out of a Commonwealth Campaign Account, is captured;

‘third party’, to clarify that an organisation qualifies as a third party if ‘the amount of electoral expenditure incurred by or with the authority of the person or entity during the financial year is more than $20,000’, noting the definition of ‘electoral expenditure’ above.

5.85The Committee recommends that contingent on the Australian Government introducing truth in political advertising laws, that the media blackout, known as the relevant period in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, be removed.

5.111The Committee recommends that the Australian Government ensure that the Australian Electoral Commission is resourced to employ staff at the appropriate level to facilitate elections to the high standard expected by the Australian community.

5.112The Committee recommends that the Australian Government amend section 35 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to enable the Australian Electoral Commission to employ senior electoral officers on a more permanent basis.

5.115The Committee recommends that the Australian Electoral Commission expand its recruitment drive to employ staff for selected polling places who can speak the targeted language(s) for those communities.

5.129The Committee recommends that the Australian Government engages with the Australian community to determine contemporary expectations of standards in order to address all matters of qualification and disqualification for Parliament through legislation under sections 34 and 44 of the Constitution.

5.157The Committee recommends that section 184AA of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, application forms for postal votes, be amended or removed, so that postal vote applications can no longer be included with other material.

5.158The Committee recommends that section 184 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 be amended to clarify that postal vote applications must be sent directly to the Australian Electoral Commission’s nominated addresses.